Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 34 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 3-Feb-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 4-Feb-2004
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"The heart truth" announces launch of its "Red Dress" road show

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced at an American Heart Month program in Washington D.C., its plans for a traveling exhibit on heart health. From March through April 2004, The Heart Truth Road Show, sponsored by NHLBI and presented by Johnson & Johnson, will bring important information to women across the United States to urge them to take their heart health seriously and personally.

Complete with free risk factor screenings and educational materials, the traveling exhibit will feature a stunning display of dresses from The Heart Truth’s Original Red Dress Collection 2003 — including designs from Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, and Calvin Klein. The Road Show will visit shopping malls in the following five cities: Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, and San Diego.

The Heart Truth’s Red Dress is the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness. It is a red alert that heart disease is the #1 killer of women — and an urgent reminder to every woman to care for her heart.

Research shows that women are more worried about cancer than heart disease — especially breast cancer. According to a survey commissioned by the National Council on the Aging, only 9 percent of women ages 45 to 64 name heart disease as the condition they most fear — while 61 percent name breast cancer. Yet, heart disease, which includes coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, angina, and other conditions, is the leading cause of death in American women, accounting for 366,000 deaths in 2000.

The Heart Truth Road Show takes these important messages about heart health directly to women in local communities so they can learn about their personal risk factors for heart disease — and understand that heart disease is a woman's #1 health threat," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson.

“We want to encourage every woman to talk to her doctor about her risks for heart disease and to start taking action to lead a heart healthy life,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

Johnson & Johnson is the presenting sponsor of The Heart Truth Road Show. The Heart Truth Road Show community partners include: American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the Office on Women’s Health (Department of Health and Human Services), and WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. National sponsors include: LifeWise by RadioShack, Johnson & Johnson Reach Dental Floss, Cordis Corporation, and Albertsons.

“Johnson & Johnson is pleased to help focus public attention on heart disease through efforts such as The Heart Truth Road Show,” said Nancy Snyderman, M.D., Vice President, Medical Affairs, Johnson & Johnson. “Too many women are unaware of their risk factors and the prevalence and preventability of heart disease. We are committed to increasing awareness among women and those who love them,” added Snyderman.

The Road Show is designed to screen more than 1,000 women in each city for heart disease risk factors and provide heart health information to thousands more. Heart disease risk factors include those that are beyond women’s control and those that can be changed. Those that can’t be changed are a family history of early heart disease and age (55 and older for women). The risk factors that can be controlled are smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes. While having even one risk factor is dangerous, having multiple risk factors is especially serious, because risk factors tend to “gang up” and worsen each other’s effects.

The Heart Truth is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The campaign first introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness during American Heart Month at Fashion Week in February 2003.

For more information about The Heart Truth and its Red Dress symbol, please visit

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